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Almost Amish: One Woman's Quest for a Slower, Simpler, More Sustainable Life Paperback – April 1, 2012

3.9 out of 5 stars 125 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Almost Amish offers a reminder of the freedom we can uncover through a sustainable lifestyle.

Book Description

Almost Amish is the perfect read if you're feeling the weight of our fancy American lifestyle and looking to simplify your life and get back to the things that matter. (Melanie Shankle, a.k.a. Big Mama, www.thebigmamablog.com)

Almost Amish offers a reminder of the freedom we can uncover through a sustainable lifestyle. (Sarah Pulliam Bailey, Christianity Today)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. (April 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1414326998
  • ISBN-13: 978-1414326993
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (125 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #94,304 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Almost Amish: One Woman's Quest for a Slower, Simpler, More Sustainable Life by Nancy Sleeth is a much needed breath of fresh air. When my children were small I read volumes about simple living in a quest to make life more intentional and less frantic. It worked for a while, but the busyness of everyday life in an active household became too much and the search for simplicity became a distant memory. After moving from a small town to a mega-city, the pace has become unhealthy and I have been looking for some answers. God's timing is perfect and Almost Amish arrived as an answer to my prayers.

Speaking from experience, Sleeth challenges us to simplify in every area of life - in our homes, technology and finances. She then gently encourages us to spend time focusing on what really matters - nature, service, security, community, families and faith. Using the Amish communities as an example, we are given practical examples of how to achieve simplicity in a modern world. No, she does not recommend living "off the grid" and giving up our cars in exchange for horses, but she does show us how to tread lightly on the earth and readjust our priorities to become ones who live a life actively seeking after God and showing him to others through our actions.

Short chapters and a down-to-earth writing style made Almost Amish easy to devour in a day. I have started to ponder the changes necessary to make life less frantic once again and, although it will be a slow process (my daughter informed me that she cannot live without technology), I know that the benefits will far outweigh the sacrifices. I encourage you to slow down enough to read Almost Amish - it just might change your life.

I give this book 5 stars out of 5.

I received this book free from Tyndale House Publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
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Format: Paperback
I was excited to receive this book for review. It's one I've wanted to read. I've long had an interest in simplifying my life; living more intentionally. Kicking the fast food habit and finally learning to cook. I want to be the girl on the cover with the basket of freshly-baked bread.

The book covers the following topics:
* Keeping your home uncluttered and clean
* Preventing technology from ruling you
* Saving more & spending less
* Spending more time in nature
* Simplifying your life
* Serving others
* Finding Security in God
* Building a community

All great issues to cover, yes? The problem arises in the tone of the writing. The author and her husband are Practically Perfect in Every Way. And you, Dear Reader, are not. The tone felt very condescending to me; so much so that I did not want to finish reading the book after a few chapters. If you're able to get past the guilt-trips, you can find a few good tips here. However, if, like me, you're sensitive to that "know-it-all" feel, you may want to skip this one.
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Format: Paperback
ALMOST AMISH is about the Christian imperative to care for the earth. So if you have a problem with Christianity or religion in general this book wouldn't be for you.

Personally, I was hoping for an interesting book about one family's journey to more responsible living. Unfortunately it was more impersonal than that, and I couldn't relate to the book on that level.

Touchy-feelieness aside, I was hoping for creative ideas. There the book hit paydirt. There are some good ideas. Unfortunately they are delivered as a sort of lecture, which wasn't very appealing.

On the whole, I'd say this is a book to check out at the library before you consider buying. The constant reference to the Amish, which wasn't necessary, and which presented their life in truly glowing terms, was sort of silly. In addition, I can't shake the feeling that there was an undercurrent of implied superiority. Which of course, grates on my nerves because I hate competition.

Pam T~
mom/fur-mom/recycler
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Format: Paperback
I've always been fascinated with the Amish way of life. I'm naturally drawn to a slower pace, to simpler living. Plus, the cover was super cute and colorful. I thought I would LOVE this book. It didn't take me long to realize two things:

1) This woman doesn't know much about the Amish, certainly not more than what you could find on the internet or in a Beverly Lewis novel. I doubt she's spent much time face-to-face with any Amish people. Her references are vague and sort of forced. It's like she took the philosophy she already had and tried to wrap Amish traditions around it to make it fit the theme of her book.

2) This woman thinks she's the "bees knees" and the "cat's meow." I tried, I really tried to like this book but I could not help feeling a sense of condescension. She just goes on and on about everything she and her husband have done to create this simple lifestyle, to stay out of debt, to live off the land, etc. etc. Funny thing is, I agree with all that stuff!! I already do a lot of it and wish I could do more.

I just resented the impression she gave that she and her husband are doing it for spiritual reasons. Really?? No, they are doing it because they enjoy it! It is a hobby for them, like golf or sailing or scrapbooking is for other people. Has it always been easy for them? No, I'm sure it hasn't. But when you read the stories in her book, you realize that this was sort of their "natural bent" in the first place. It's ok that they get a kick out of this. And it's even ok for them to suggest that others might benefit from it. But to make it into a "thus saith the Lord" is a stretch.
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